Dental Crowns- 3 Main types of crowns compared
Dental crowns are custom-made artificial tooth-shaped “caps” that are placed over a tooth. A dental crown, when cemented into place, fully encases the entire visible portion of a tooth.
A dental crown may be used in the following situations:
1. Protect a weak tooth from breaking.
2. Restore a broken tooth’s size and shape.
3. Support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left.
4. To improve a tooth’s cosmetic appearance.
5. To cover a dental implant. An implant is an artificial tooth root surgically attached directly to the jaw bone.
6. Crowns are used to attach bridges. A bridge is a false tooth attached to a crown on each side.
3 Main Types of Dental Crowns:
1. All-ceramic or porcelain dental crowns – most aesthetically pleasing crown but not the strongest crown. An all-porcelain crown is a good choice to use when the cosmetic appearance of a tooth (like a front tooth) is of utmost importance.
2. All-metal or gold alloy dental crowns – strongest and longest lasting crown but the least aesthetic
dental crown. An all-metal crown is a good choice to use when great strength is required but cosmetic appearance isn’t a major concern. All-metal crowns are a good choice for back teeth.
3. Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) dental crowns – can be thought of as a hybrid between all-metal and all porcelain dental crowns. PFM dental crowns offer good strength characteristics and a pleasing tooth-colored appearance. A PFM crown is a dental crown with an outside porcelain finish but an inner metal core that covers the tooth.
Each of the three types of crowns has advantages and disadvantages. No one type of crown is best for all dental applications. If your tooth requires a dental crown, Dr. Olson will explain to you all of your options.